A person’s smile is one of the first things that is noticed about them, so if yours isn’t looking as white and polished as it used to be, then it might be time for your teeth to be whitened. Store shelves are full of countless products that promise fast results, which can make it difficult to decide what to use. To help make the decision easier, here is a short list of some of the most common types of natural and over-the-counter teeth whitening products and information about their effectiveness.
This type of toothpaste promises to whiten teeth in about two weeks of consistent use. While it can be effective for removing some coffee and tea stains from teeth, it does not actually have the ability to bleach exposed dentin. It works only by abrasives that slowly damage teeth enamel over time. In other words, it might lighten teeth a small amount, but the results will be minimal.
Most of the better quality brands of whitening gels must be kept on the teeth for one to two hours. They are very messy, even if you put the gel in an insertable tray. Most of the gel gets spit out, and little of it even covers the teeth, so it doesn’t work very well. Whitening strips are more costly, but they stay in place, which makes them more effective. Most people see results in just a few days of using whitening strips, and there is no messy gel to deal with either. It is important to mention that only natural tooth surfaces will be whitened. Fillings will stay the same color that they were when the dentist applied them. They can only be lightened by having them completely removed and reapplied by a dentist. The strips will not affect them in any way.
A bottle of peroxide costs less than a dollar to purchase, which might surprise people who are spending hundreds of dollars a year for whitening products that contain this same cheap ingredient. One of the most effective methods for whitening teeth is to swish with a half water and half peroxide solution after brushing your teeth each morning. The results are slow, but impressive.
Strawberries taste delicious, they are high in Vitamin C, and surprisingly, they can even whiten your teeth. Just crush them up, and mix in a sprinkle of baking soda. Apply this mixture directly to the teeth for about ten minutes. This option is more gentle than peroxide based solutions, and it won’t cause increased sensitivity. But still, it should only be done on an occasional basis because strawberries contain malic acid that could weaken tooth enamel.
Crunchy vegetables such as celery and carrots can can gently clean and polish teeth because they have tiny abrasive particles that can buff away stains. Chewing them also increases the production of saliva, which has natural cavity-fighting enzymes in it. Of all of the whitening options, this is the healthiest and easiest to stick with.
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